According to Graeme Swann, a former off-spinner from England, the recent altercation between Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir during the match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants on May 1 is minor compared to the heated confrontations he has witnessed during the fiercely-contested Ashes series.
He further added that incidents like these are what make the sport interesting, and without them, cricket would become dull.
“Let’s face it, if there was never any conflict in sport, it would be so dull. Having played Ashes Test series throughout my life, this is nothing compared to that,” Swann was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
During the match, the former Indian captain was also seen engaging in a verbal altercation with Afghan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq and Kyle Mayers, making the match the center of attention for all the wrong reasons.
Graeme Swann, who is an expert with JioCinema, commented in a virtual interaction that conflict is an integral part of sports and without it, the games would be boring. He compared the incident between Kohli and Gambhir to the highly intense Ashes Test series that he has played throughout his career, implying that such conflicts are commonplace in sports.
After their altercation during the match, both Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir, who is the mentor of the Lucknow Super Giants team, were fined 100% of their match fees for violating the IPL’s Code of Conduct. Naveen-ul-Haq was also charged with 50% of his match fees for his involvement in the argument.
Graeme Swann believes that Virat Kohli’s aggressive behavior is acceptable and does not see anything wrong with it. He stated that Kohli’s passion for the game is what sets him apart, and that his aggressive attitude is a reflection of that.
Swann seems to appreciate the fact that Kohli plays the game with a lot of energy and intensity, and that is one of the reasons why he has become such a prominent figure in the cricketing world.
“One of the reasons Virat Kohli is ‘Virat Kohli’ is because he’s so passionate about his cricket. He’s so in your face when he’s playing and he intimidates a lot of players,” he further added.